The Internet of Things (IoT) devices are outnumbering the population of our planet. It is projected that the planet will have 20.5 billion devices just two short years away, in 2020. In the next five years the cybercrime is expected to result in business-related economic losses in the astounding amount of $8 trillion – EIGHT TRILLION! Beyond its financial cost, the cybercrime disrupts critical and strategic infrastructure of of the affected organizations.

When an organization with a complex system does not properly asses or mitigate risk, it is important to recognize that when failure takes place, it will not happen as incremental, manageable damage, but rather a collapse that your business may find impossible to escape.

The objective of a risk assessment is to provide a non-subjective understanding of risk by assigning numerical values to variables representing different types of threats and the danger they pose. In finance, a risk profile can be a useful tool for discussing and evaluating a potential investment’s ability to maximize return on investment (ROI) while minimizing risk.

A proper information risk profile should apply to your organization as a whole. It should demonstrate its value and intent to your business and be easy to understand by your leadership team and stakeholders. 

The specific goals of risk assessments depend on the type of your business and compliance rules relevant to your industry.

  • Inventory of IT assets and data assets.
  • Identification of gaps in the organization’s IT security architecture.
  • Review of compliance with information-security-specific laws, mandates and regulations within industry.
  • Development of a risk profile that provides a quantitative analysis of the potential threats.
  • Identifying, prioritizing and documenting risks, threats and known vulnerabilities to the organization’s production infrastructure and assets.
  • Cost discovery for security countermeasures to mitigate risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Understanding the return on investment, if funds are invested in infrastructure or other business assets to offset potential risk.
  • Determining budgeting to fix or mitigate the identified risks, threats and vulnerabilities.

A risk profile is a quantitative analysis and an evaluation of the types of threat estimates associated with project, activity, program or strategy an individual, organization, asset or project can face.

5 Guiding Principles and Strategic Directives of Risk Assessment

  1. Evaluate availability and sustainability of key business processes, data, and capabilities.
  2. Achieve identification and evaluation of threats, vulnerabilities and their associated risk.
  3. Allow business leaders to understand and establish risk tolerance and make informed risk management decisions.
  4. Provide guidance through implementation of proper risk-mitigating actions.
  5. Identify cost factors compared to information risk mitigation funding and resources allocation.
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